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21 February

Journalists in State of Emergency - 121

Jailed journalist Nur Ener Kılınç released from prison on house arrest; 4 journalists in Adana convicted of “membership in terrorist organization”

Nur Ener Kılınç, an editor for the Yeni Asya newspaper, who had been in pretrial detention at the Bakırköy Prison in Istanbul since March 2017, was ordered to be released and put on house arrest by the 26th High Criminal Court of Istanbul on February 20, 2018 at the latest hearing of the case in which she is standing trial on “membership in a terrorist organization” charges.
Kılınç was arrested in March 2017 on the account that she had an encrypted messaging app called “ByLock” on her smartphone, an application purported to be used chiefly by people who are alleged to be members of the Fethullah Gülen network.
During the hearing, monitored by P24 at the courtroom, Kılınç gave her defense statement, in which she said the ByLock app was uploaded on her phone by another person during a job interview and that she had only briefly contacted those people at the time via the said app.
The prosecutor then requested the continuation of Kılınç’s detention on remand.
The court issued an interim decision, in which it ruled for Kılınç’s release on judicial control terms pending the conclusion of her trial, putting her on house arrest. The trial was adjourned to April 19.
The court also ruled that criminal complaints are filed against the individuals Kılınç mentioned in her defense statement.
Former DİHA reporter Şermin Soydan acquitted
Şermin Soydan, a former reporter for the shuttered Dicle news agency (DİHA), was acquitted on February 21 in a case in which she faced life imprisonment on “espionage” charges.
Nurcan Baysal handed down 10 month-jail sentence
T24 columnist Nurcan Baysal was handed down a 10-month prison sentence on February 20, 2018, for her 2016 report in which she recounted scenes from Cizre in the aftermath of an operation by the Turkish military in the southeastern town.
Announcing its verdict at the conclusion of the fifth hearing, the Istanbul 54th Criminal Court of First Instance initially sentenced Baysal to one year in prison for “publicly denigrating the security force.” The court then reduced the sentence to 10 months for good conduct and ruled for the suspension of the verdict, releasing Baysal on condition that she does not repeat the offence within five years.
4 journalists convicted of “membership in terrorist organization”
A court in Adana on February 16 sentenced journalist Aytekin Gezici and three other journalists to prison terms between nine years and seven-and-a-half years on charges of “membership in a terrorist organization.”
Gezici, who had been in pretrial detention since July 2016, was on trial alongside 10 other journalists in the case, in which they were accused of being members of “Fetullahçı Terör Örgütü/Paralel Devlet Yapılanması (FETÖ/PDY),” the name given by Turkish authorities to the Fethullah Gülen movement.
The 11th High Criminal Court of Adana sentenced Gezici, who was the only imprisoned defendant in the case, as well as Yüksel Evsen and Mustafa Naim Yalçınel, to nine years in prison, while Abdullah Özyurt, a former reporter for the Zaman daily, who had been released and put on house arrest in September, to 7 years and 6 months in jail. An arrest warrant was issued for Özyurt.
The court acquitted the rest of the defendants, Salim Büyükkaya, the chairperson of the Adana branch of Journalists Union of Turkey (TGS); Rıfat Söylemez, the owner of the local newspaper Adana Haber; Hakan Bülent Yardımcı, the owner of the local newspaper Ekspres, Taner Talaş, the owner of the local newspaper Adana Medya; as well as journalists Ali Pekmezci, Abdurrahim Haklıkul and Osman Palamut.
Özgürlükçü Demokrasi distributor detained in Diyarbakır
Ahmet Boltan, a distributor for the pro-Kurdish Özgürlükçü Demokrasi newspaper, was taken into custody on February 20, 2018 in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır. The Mezopotamya news agency reported on Tuesday that Boltan was detained by the police as he was leaving the newspaper’s distribution office in Diyarbakır. The grounds for Boltan’s arrest was not disclosed, Mezopotamya said.
Court expected to announce verdict on 19 journalists
The 25th High Criminal Court of Istanbul is expected to announce its verdict concerning the case publicly known as the “FETÖ media trial” this week, when the fourth hearing in the trial is held on February 22 and 23 at the Çağlayan Courthouse in Istanbul.
Twenty-nine journalists, including former T24 columnist Murat Aksoy and former singer and newspaper columnist Atilla Taş, are standing trial on “membership in a terrorist organization” and “coup” charges in the case. Nineteen of the defendants are in pretrial detention.
The prosecutor submitted his final opinion on the case at the previous hearing on February 6, laying out the charges and the punishment he requests for the defendants. The prosecutor requested the court to acquit 13 defendants of “coup” charges. He requested that all but three defendants, Murat Aksoy, Gökçe Fırat Çulhaoğlu and Muhterem Tanık, be charged with “membership in FETÖ/PDY terrorist organization” while the rest be charged with “aiding the FETÖ/PDY terrorist organization without being a part of its hierarchical structure.” The prosecutor also requested the release of Çulhaoğlu on account of the changed accusation. Çulhaoğlu is currently in pre-trial detention on coup-related charges.
The prosecutor also requested that four defendants who had been released pending trial in the previous hearings are re-arrested, arguing that the “terrorist group membership” accusation required the defendants are held in pretrial detention. The four defendants are Ali Akkuş, Cihan Acar, Bünyamin Köseli and Atilla Taş.
The court delayed decision on the prosecutor’s requests, saying they will be concluded along with the final verdict in the case, which is expected to be issued this week, after the defendants and defense lawyers present their final defense statements.
List of journalists in prison (as of February 20, 2018)
With Nur Ener Kılınç’s release from the Bakırköy Prison in Istanbul on February 20, the number of journalists in prison in Turkey dropped to 154. The full list can be seen here.
1                Abdulkadir Turay, DİHA reporter
2                Abdullah Kaya, DİHA
3                Abdullah Kılıç, Habertürk
4                Abdullah Özyurt, Zaman reporter
5                Abdulvahap İş (Freelance journalist)
6                Ahmet Altan
7                Ahmet Feyzullah Özyurt
8                Ahmet Memiş, Gazeteci, Haberdar news website
9                Ahmet Metin Sekizkardeş, Zaman journalist
10              Ahmet Şık, Cumhuriyet reporter
11              Ahmet Turan Alkan, Zaman
12              Ahmet Yavaş, TRT (Erzurum)
13              Akın Atalay, Pres. of Cumhuriyet Foundation Executive Board
14              Alaattin Güner, Cihan media director
15              Ali Ahmet Böken, TRT News coordinator
16              Ali Aşikar – Azadiya Welat
17              Ali Babür Boysal, Zaman page designer
18              Ali Bulaç, former Zaman columnist
19              Ali Sönmez Kayar, ETHA reporter
20              Ali Ünal, Zaman columnist
21              Ali Yüce, TRT Radio broadcasts chief
22              Arafat Dayan, Demokratik Ulus
23              Aslı Ceren Aslan, Özgür Gelecek
24              Ayhan Demir, Çaldıran News Agency
25              Ayşe Nazlı Ilıcak
26              Ayşenur Parıldak, Zaman, Haberdar
27              Aytekin Gezici, journalist/writer
28              Aziz İstegün, Diyarbakır Zaman representative
29              Barış Ceyhan, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi employee
30              Bayram Kaya, Zaman reporter
31              Behram Kılıç
32              Beytullah Özdemir, Zaman Düzce bureau chief
33              Burak Ekici, Birgün
34              Burçin Dokgöz, former Zaman and Çorum reporter
35              Cemal Azmi Kalyoncu, Journalists and Writers’ Foundation
36              Ceren Taşkın, Hatay'ın Sesi
37              Cuma Kaya, Zaman
38              Cuma Ulus, Millet newspaper’s publications coordinator
39              Cüneyt Seza Özkan, Samanyolu TV
40              Emin Demir, Freelancer
41              Emre Soncan, Zaman defense reporter
42              Ercan Gün, Fox TV
43              Erdal Süsem, Eylül magazine editor
44              Erdal Şen, former Meydan managing editor
45              Erdoğan Alayamut, Dihaber reporter
46              Erol Yüksel (TRT News Department vice president))
47              Erol Zavar, Odak magazine, owner and newsroom director
48              Fahrettin Kılıç, Özgür Toplum
49              Faruk Akkan, Cihan news agency
50              Ferhat Çiftçi, Azadiya Welat Gaziantep bureau chief
51              Fevzi Yazıcı
52              Gökçe Fırat Çulhaoğlu, Türksolu columnist
53              Gurbet Çakar, Hevi women’s magazine
54              Gültekin Avcı
55              Habip Güler, Zaman reporter
56              Hakan Aksel, TRT producer-director
57              Hakan Ergün, Azadiya Welat and Özgür Gündem distributor
58              Hakan Taşdelen
59              Halil İbrahim Mert, TRT (Erzurum)
60              Hamit Dilbahar, Azadiya Welat columnist
61              Hamza Günerigök, TRT
62              Hanım Büşra Erdal, Zaman reporter and columnist
63              Hasan Duman, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi distributor
64              Hatice Duman, Atılım newspaper’s owner and managing editor
65              Havva Cuştan, ETHA reporter
66              Hayati Yıldız, Azadiya Welat
67              Haydar Ergül, Demokratik Modernite editor
68              Hidayet Karaca, Samanyolu Media Group President
69              Hüseyin Aydın, Cihan reporter
70              Hüseyin Turan, Zaman columnist
71              İbrahim Kareyeğen, responsible editor for Zaman
72              İdris Okur, Cihan New Agency Çorum reporter
73              İdris Sayılgan, DİHA
74              İdris Yılmaz
75              İshak Karakaş, Hakın Nabzı editor in chief
76              İsmail Efe, local press advisor in İzmir
77              İsmail Ersan, Anatolia news agency
78              İsminaz Temel, ETHA editor
79              Kamuran Sunbat, DİHA Çukurova reporter (formerly)
80              Kemal Demir, TV 10
81              Kemal Özer, Evrensel
82              Kenan Karavil, Radyo Dünya editor-in-chief
83              Mehmet Ali Ay
84              Mehmet Altan
85              Mehmet Baransu, Taraf columnist/reporter
86              Mehmet Dener, Şanlıurfa.com editor-in-chief
87              Mehmet Güleş, DİHA
88              Mehmet Gündem
89              Mehmet Kuru, Zaman Eskişehir reporter
90              Mehmet Özdemir, Zaman columnist
91              Meltem Oktay, DİHA reporter
92              Mete Cem Bahtiyar, former BirGün reporter
93              Mikail Barut, Özgür Halk former editor
94              Miktat Algül, Mezitli FM General Publications Coordinator
95              Mizgin Çay – Radyo Karacadağ
96              Muhammet Taşçılar, Şanlıurfa.com editor-in-chief
97              Muhsin Pilgir, Zaman and Cihan news agency
98              Murat Avcıoğlu, Zaman
99              Murat Çapan, Nokta
100            Murat Dağdeviren (Demokrat Gebze owner)
101            Murat Sabuncu, Editor-in- Chief
102            Mustafa Erkan Acar, Bugün news editor,
103            Mustafa Gök, Ankara bureau chief for Ekmek ve Adalet magazine
104            Mustafa Ünal, Zaman
105            Mutlu Çölgeçen, Millet, newsroom coordinator
106            Mutlu Özay, Cihan reporter
107            Mümtazer Türköne, Zaman columnist
108            Nadir Yücel, Çorum Yıldız (local) Editor-in-Chief
109            Nedim Türfent,DİHA
110            Nizamettin İzgi (Batman Newspaper’s owner)
111            Nuh Gönültaş
112            Nuri Durna, TRT
113            Nuri Yeşil, Azadiya Welat Dersim bureau chief
114            Nurullah Kaya, G.antep Zaman representative
115            Oğuz Usluer, Habertürk former broadcasts coordinator
116            Osman Yakut, Zaman Antalya
117            Ömer Oruç, Cihan newspaper
118            Özcan Keser (TRT reporter)
119            Rabia Özkaya, Özgür Halk
120            Ramazan Alkan, Yeni Akit reporter
121            Resul Cengiz, Denizli reporter with Zaman
122            Sadık Demir – Radyo Karacadağ
123            Sait Gürka Tuzlu, Cihan reporter
124            Salih Erbekler – Radyo Karacadağ
125            Sami Tunca, Mücadele Birliği magazine Managing Editor
126            Seda Taşkın, Mesopotamia News Agency reporter
127            Semiha Mete, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi reporter and distributor
128            Serhat Şeftali, Zaman regional bureau chief for the Med region
129            Serkan Aydemir, Bitlis Aktüel reporter
130            Seyid Kılıç, TRT News
131            Seyithan Akyüz, Azadiya Welat Adana bureau chief
132            Şahabettin Demir, DİHA reporter
133            Şahin Alpay, Zaman columnist
134            Şeref Yılmaz, Irmak TV
135            Şerife Oruç, DİHA reporter
136            Tahsin Kürklü, Zaman – head of Logistics Department
137            Togay Okay, Özgür Gelecek
138            Tuncer Çetinkaya, Zaman Antalya
139            Turgut Usul, TRT reporter
140            Ufuk Şanlı, former Vatan columnist
141            Ünal Tanık, Rota Haber editor-in-chief
142            Vahit Yazgan, İzmir Zaman bureau chief
143            Veli Büyükşahin, TV10 executive
144            Veli Haydar Güleç, TV10 executive
145            Yakup Çetin, Zaman reporter
146            Yakup Şimşek, Zaman, marketing director
147            Yalçın Güler, TRT (Erzurum)
148            Yasir Kaya, Fenerbahçe TV, formerly
149            Yener Dönmez, Habervaktim news website
150            Yetkin Yıldız, Aktif Haber website editor
151            Yılmaz Kahraman, Özgür Halk editor
152            Zafer Özsoy
153            Zehra Doğan, Jinha
154            Ziya Ataman, DİHA reporter
For a full list of all the imprisoned journalists in Turkey, visit this spreadsheet. Lists of all of the foundations and associations as well as media outlets shut down can also be found at the same link, although on different tabs of the same spreadsheet.


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